Orville Wayne Grasdock
February 15, 2023
Orville Wayne Grasdock, loving husband, father, and grandfather of Fairfield, MT, passed away suddenly at his home on February 9, 2023. Orville, or Mr. G. as he was called by many of his students, was born on June 11, 1936, at his parent's home on their farm on the Fairfield Bench. He lived there his entire youth, attending Greenfield Grade School and graduating from Fairfield High School in 1954.
Orville was the son of Herman and Gertrude Spoelder Grasdock. He was raised on a farm northeast of Fairfield helping with the grain crops and raising animals (cattle, pigs, chickens and others). His siblings were Leonard (passed away before Orville was born), Lloyd (Elaine) Grasdock of Stanwood, Washington, Rhoda (Gordon Hansen) of Medical Lake, Washington, and Dorothy Grasdock Freeman (missing since 1970).
Orville graduated in 1963, from the University of Montana with a degree in Education. In 1965, he returned to the University for more courses when he met his future wife, Vera Norris, in Square Dance Club. They married on August 28, 1965 and were married for 57 years. They had two children: Lisa May Genereux (Darin) of Big Sandy, MT, and Wayne Gerald Grasdock (Darlene) of Old Lyme, CT. Later, four grandchildren came along. Jasmine, Jeremiah, and Josalynn Genereux, and Alexis Grasdock. Orville was very proud of his grandchildren who brought great joy into his life.
While living in Big Sandy, four foreign exchange high school students lived with Orville and Vera: Beatrice from Switzerland, Mia from Finland, Pablo from Chile, and Hendrick from Germany. They were greatly enjoyed.
Orville taught school in Choteau and Ronan, then for 19 years in Big Sandy, MT. He attended the University of Missouri, Rolla, during four summers, earning a Master's of Science in the teaching of chemistry and physics. During the summer months, Orville worked on the farm, and after retiring from teaching in 1992, he and Vera moved to the farm permanently. Orville valued education and felt that it was important to continue to learn new things throughout life. "Never quit learning" is what he passed on to his children and grandchildren.
Religion, faith, and to be of service to others were very important to Orville. He was a lifelong member of St. Paul Lutheran Church serving on the Church Council and Cemetery Board. He was a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Ronan, and Christ Lutheran Church in Big Sandy, serving on councils.
Near the end of his teaching years, running became one of his passions. He competed in many races including marathons, and the Le Grizz 50-mile Ultra-Marathon. He may not have won first place, but he was always able to finish. Every Spring, for many years, he and Vera traveled to Medical Lake, WA, where they visited his sister and brother-in-law, and ran the annual Bloomsday run in Spokane. Neighbors on the Bench were used to seeing him practice run. A good friend tells of how Orville would often stop at his house early in the morning to catch his breath and "crash" on the floor in the living room. Several mornings the family was awoken to the sounds of Orville playing their piano.
Orville always loved music and enjoyed the piano, accordion, and especially the fiddle, which he learned from his Uncle George Grasdock. He was a long-time member of Montana State Old Time Fiddle Association, District 8. He and Vera attended many fiddle meets and contests through the years. He so looked forward to Fiddle Camp held at Neihart, MT, for one week each summer, and many times brought craft projects to help entertain the younger campers.
A great joy of Orville was working in his shop, where he spent many hours cutting, bending, welding, shaping, and making or fixing various equipment or parts. He was known on the Fairfield Bench for making irrigation ditch gates for farmers. They were known to many as "Orville Gates."
Orville loved being around kids, and enjoyed telling them jokes, especially knock-knock jokes. A great passion was working with students on science fair projects, especially electronics. Following retirement from teaching in Big Sandy, he continued work with students in the Fairfield area on a volunteer basis.
Orville was preceded in death by his parents, Herman and Gertrude, and brother Leonard. Services will be held at 11:00 AM, Thursday, February 23rd at St. Paul Lutheran Church on the Fairfield Bench.
Condolences may be left on-line at http://www.gorderjensenfuneralhome.com